Best Cook Books of 2018

Again this is a very easy category for me to judge as their are a couple of books I continue to use and refer back to.

One is strictly for baking; breads, cakes, tarts, gluten free, dairy free…this book has it all and the recipes are easy to follow.  If you love baking give “Love Laugh Bake” by Silvia Colloca a try, you wont regret it.

Love Laugh Bake

 

And then we have something completely different – a book that has given me so much pleasure; it is a visual delight, I love the scenic tour of Italy it provides and the recipes are outstanding – I have tried so many of these, I love the seasonal fruits and vegetables they use. Adriatico is by Paola Bacchia is a musts for your kitchen library.

 

Adriatico_cover

Just Desserts: Raspberry and Chocolate Tart – Fruit – Bernadette Worndl,

fruit-9781925418446

Edited extract from Fruit by Bernadette Worndl, published by Smith Street Books, $55. Photography © Gunda Dittrich. Out November 2018

 

RASPBERRY AND CHOCOLATE TART

 Chocolate and raspberries really, really like each other!

 

Raspberry and chocolate tart

Pastry

100 g (3½ oz) cold butter

200 g (7 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting

1 tablespoon icing (confectioners’) sugar

pinch of salt

1 egg

splash of milk, as needed

 

Chocolate filling

300 g (10½ oz) bitter dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)

pinch of salt

pinch of ground cinnamon

pinch of finely grated orange zest

125 g (4½ oz) thickened (whipping) cream

½ teaspoon orange-flavoured liqueur

 

Topping

1–2 tablespoons raspberry jam (jelly)

250 g (9 oz) raspberries

1–2 teaspoons honey

 

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (conventional). For the pastry, chop the butter into cubes. Place the butter in a large bowl, along with the flour, icing sugar and salt. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the dry ingredients. Add the egg and knead into a smooth dough, adding milk if the dough is too dry. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to 3 mm (⅛ in) thick. Line a large pie dish or 4–6 small flan (tart) tins with the pastry and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

 

Cover the pastry with baking paper, fill with dried beans or baking beads and blind bake on the lowest shelf of the oven for 10–15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake the pastry for a further 10–12 minutes, until the edge begins to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

 

For the chocolate filling, chop the chocolate and place in a bowl with the salt, cinnamon and orange zest. Heat the cream in a small saucepan, then pour it over the chocolate mixture and allow everything to melt together for 2–3 minutes. Stir until smooth, then stir through the liqueur.

 

Spread the jam over the pie base. Pour over the chocolate cream and leave at room temperature until set. Top with the raspberries and serve drizzled with the honey.

 

#MeatFreeMonday – Watermelon Salad

 

 

 

 

 

Edited extract from Fruit by Bernadette Worndl, published by Smith Street Books, $55. Photography © Gunda Dittrich. Out November 2018

 

WATERMELON SALAD WITH FETA, TOMATO, MINT AND CUCUMBER

” On hot summer days, I can eat this salad constantly. The sweet, juicy watermelon in combination with the fleshy oxheart tomatoes could not go better with the crisp, thickly sliced cucumbers and salty feta.” p. 136

 

 

Watermelon salad

1 small seedless watermelon

1 Lebanese (short) cucumber

3–4 oxheart tomatoes

3–4 mint sprigs

200 g (7 oz) feta

**fleur de sel, to taste

olive oil, for drizzling

juice of ½ lemon

 

Halve the watermelon, remove pieces of the flesh using a spoon and arrange on a large plate. Peel the cucumber and cut into thick slices. Cut the tomatoes into chunks and arrange on the watermelon, along with the cucumber. Pick the mint leaves and tear into smaller pieces.

 

Crumble the feta over the salad, scatter over the mint and fleur de sel, and drizzle with olive oil and the lemon juice.

 

Fleur de sel – is a finishing salt to flavor and garnish food. It is added just before serving to boost the flavor of eggs, fish, meat, vegetables, chocolate, and caramel.

Sunday Roast: Pork Cutlets with Caramelised Pear and Sage

fruit-9781925418446

Edited extract from Fruit by Bernadette Worndl, published by Smith Street Books, $55. Photography © Gunda Dittrich. Out November 2018

 

PORK CUTLETS WITH CARAMELISED PEARS AND SAGE

 “Roast and caramel flavours combine here with smoky wooden-barrel notes of Cognac and creamy, sour crème fraîche.” p. 157

 

4 pork cutlets

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 bunch sage

2 tablespoons clarified butter

4 small pears

6 French shallots

1 garlic clove

5 juniper berries

5 peppercorns

1 bay leaf

40 ml (1¼ fl oz) Cognac

100 g (3½ oz) crème fraiche

Pork cutlets

 

Preheat the oven to 120°C (250°F) (conventional). Season the cutlets with salt and pepper. Pick the sage leaves. Heat half the clarified butter in a frying pan over high heat. Add the sage leaves and cutlets, and quickly sear the meat on both sides. Transfer the cutlets and sage to an ovenproof dish and cook in the oven for 15 minutes.

Halve or quarters the pears. Peel and halve the shallots, and bruise the garlic clove. Heat the remaining clarified butter in the same pan and cook the pear, shallot and garlic until golden brown. Add the juniper berries, peppercorns, bay leaf and cognac, and very carefully set alight to burn off the alcohol. Stir in the crème fraîche. Remove the cutlets from the oven and transfer them to the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the cutlets for the flavours to combine, then season with salt and pepper and serve.

This goes well with creamy polenta or fresh white bread.

 

 

The Best Way to Start the Day – Bircher Muesli

fruit-9781925418446

Edited extract from Fruit by Bernadette Worndl, published by Smith Street Books, $55. Photography © Gunda Dittrich. Out November 2018

 “My favourite breakfast. It easily lends itself to seasonal combinations using different grains, seeds and nuts or fruits. A grated apple always makes an appearance, though.” p. 17 

 Bircher Museli

BIRCHER MUESLI WITH GRATED APPLE, PEPITAS, YOGHURT AND FRESH GRAPES

2 apples

1 handful walnuts

100 g (3½ oz/1 cup) rolled (porridge) oats

2 tablespoons linseeds (flax seeds), roughly crushed

2 teaspoons wheat bran

2 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

150 ml (5 fl oz) milk

300 g (10½ oz) yoghurt

pinch of salt

small handful shelled pistachios

small handful grapes

honey, for drizzling

 

Coarsely grate one of the apples and roughly chop the walnuts. Place in a bowl and add the oats, linseeds, wheat bran, pepitas, milk, 200 g (7 oz) of the yoghurt and the salt. Stir well to combine, then cover and refrigerate overnight to soak.

 

The next day, roughly chop the pistachios and coarsely grate the second apple. Finely slice two grapes. Serve the muesli in shallow bowls and top with the apple, remaining yoghurt, grapes, pistachios and a drizzle of honey.

Review: Fruit, Recipes That Celebrate Nature – Bernadette Worndl

fruit-9781925418446

Fruit
Recipes that Celebrate Nature
Bernadette Worndl
Smith Street Books
Simon & Schuster Australia
ISBN: 9781925418446
RRP $55

Description:
We often associate fruit in recipes with jams, cakes and puddings – but fruit can be an incredible complement to savoury dishes too. Adding blackberries to a duck breast and chard recipe or caramelised pears to a pork and sage recipe can create an amazing dish. This book shows you how to make the most of out the fruit that’s in season – whether the dishes are sweet or savoury.

The seasonal arrangement of the recipes and the use of a wide array of fruit varieties, supplemented by citrus and dried fruits, make this book a kitchen staple that promises to be used again and again. The more than 70 recipes in the book include Roast pork with apples, Tagliatelle with mushrooms and blackberries and Chicken with balsamic cherries and cauliflower cream.

 

My View:
What a delectable book! I confess that I cannot wait for the summer fruits (cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots etc.) to be ready to be enjoyed. When fruit, any fruit, is in season, I find as many ways to use as possible. I preserve – make jams, marmalades, chutneys. I freeze, bottle, dry. I stew, make fruit salad, fruit “ice cream”, bake in tarts, pies, muffins… add fruit to salads, eat as is. Rarely have I thought to add fruit to savoury meals, except for the traditional cooked apple with roast pork, Bernadette Worndl celebrates the joy of fruit in ways I had not thought but cannot wait to try.

Pick up a copy of this book and you will be delighted with the range of traditional and creative recipe inside the cover. And now is the perfect time to think about creating that perfect homemade gift for the coming festive season; who doesn’t like to receive a gift made with care and love? A homemade cake, tart, jam or preserve or even something to sip on those hot summer nights; Blueberry liquor sounds just what I might need.

Fruit, Recipes that Celebrate Nature is a perfect gift for the home cook or your own kitchen library.

fruit-9781925418446